I love night fishing in the rivers and in the salt (especially if you can somehow, miraculously, find a stretch of beach that doesn't get invaded by spear fishermen). There's just something about it. Vision is impaired, so other senses really sharpen (and btw, I have excellent night vision, which is certainly a plus).
During the dark hours (which this time of year is only from 11.30pm to 2.30am) I fish black flies - very dark flies at least, most of the time. A black fish imitation is really good, so is a black rag worn imitation. Big, dark shrimps are also very effective.
One thing I learned many years ago is a rythm. As the light fades, everything from small crusteceans, shrimps, sandeel and every "bigger-fish-that-eat-smaller-fish" move up in the water column, folliwing the fading light. And vice versa - as the light comes back, everything moves deeper and deeper. As te light comes back, I prefer to fish a smaller fly (usually a small shrimp) deeper to imitate the behaviour of the naturals. What usually happens is that the trout also become more wary with the light, so often a smaller fly is a good choice.
One thing I really like to mix in is a bit of phophoorescent material - a little glow-in-the-dark-stuff mixed in with the regular materials I find makes a difference. It was Claus Eriksen (famous Danish sea trout fly fisherman) who alerted me to this trick many years ago. There are several ways of doing it. Tie in glow-in-the-dark-materials aliong with the rest or have a bead or two to add to the leader before tying on the fly. Alternatively, if you're using tube flies, thread the fly, then the bead and then tie on the tube hook.
The fly below is over the top, I think - but it shows the possibilities as I know them: Glow-in-the-dark flash in the wing, glow-in-the-dark tag on the tube, glow-in-the-dark pearl between the tube and the hook. The fly is unweighted and the head is a plastic Soft Sonic Disc from Pro Sportfisher. All in all, highly visible, maximum contrast, fishes just below the surface and really stands out with the addition og g-i-t-d materials.
I use a UV-flash light to charge the glow-in-the-dark-stuff - it's faster and the phophorescence seems to last longer (haven't timed yet). I think it's important not to overdo the glw-in-the-dark materials. A little seems to make a difference, but maybe, just maybe, I should try tying a sandeel imitation entirely of glow-in-dark flashabou and try fishing that. Who knows? If nothing else it could provide some cool pictures.
Have a great weekend! Get out there (when the Tour-stages are finished. If anyone's watching, I think Philippe Gilbert takes the stage today. There - it's been said).